Bangladesh is struggling to come to terms with what happened in the past week, with the Dhaka restaurant siege bringing serious unwelcome attention to the country’s terrorism problem. Bangladeshi officials are desperate at the moment to reject all suggestions that ISIS was involved, despite the group’s very public claiming of credit.
The attackers were all locals, that much is known, but officials are vehemently denying that any have any ties with ISIS, insisting rather that they were members of the local Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), The group was founded in 1998, and officials claim Pakistan has funded them at times.
Officials are saying the gunmen made no demands, which they also say suggests ISIS couldn’t have been responsible. ISIS publicly said the attack was about Western states attacking Muslim countries however, and that they targeted foreigners primarily in the strike.
In fobbing off the attack on the JMB, Bangladesh appears to be trying to avoid a bigger panic about the possibility of a growing ISIS presence. Whichever group did it however, it suggests the threat of terror attacks in Dhaka are growing markedly.
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